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Duncan Taylor Independent Bottlers Macallan Distillery Scotland Speyside Region

Macallan 1989 Duncan Taylor

Review of a vintage Macallan from 1989.

Origin: Speyside (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Gradation: 40%ABV
Ageing casks: N/A
Chillfiltered: No
Added coloring: No
Owner: Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky Limited
Average price: € 240.00
Official website: duncantaylor.com
Vote: 79/100

We’ve spoken little about Macallan on this blog, but that will change in the next few days, starting with this vintage bottling of which unfortunately not all the details are known.
A few words about bottler Duncan Taylor, in business since 1938 and originally a family-run business in Glasgow, which in the 1960s was taken over by New Yorker Abe Rosenberg, already involved in importing J&B to the US.
With his main business concentrated on blends, Rosenberg used the company mainly to store casks purchased from the various distilleries, amassing over 4,500 casks, some of which are still part of their collection.
With the death of Rosenberg, in 2002 the company returned to Scottish hands thanks to Euan Shand, who in a few years transformed it into a multinational giant, thanks also to the acquisition of the Black Bull brand, a blend known mainly in the United States.
Today Duncan Taylor is based in Aberdeenshire, on the outskirts of Speyside.

The series to which this bottle belongs, Whisky Galore, takes its name from the book of the same name (and the movie made from it in 1949), which tells the story of a transport ship, the SS Politician, which in 1941 sank in an accident off the coast of the Scottish island of Eriskay. Its cargo contained, among other things, 24,000 cases of Scottish blended bottles destined for the United States, and was of course looted by locals, who managed to plunder some two thousand of those cases. In the weeks that followed, police and customs officials tried in vain to recover them, as the islanders proved particularly adept at hiding the precious nectar with some rather ingenious devices.
This bottle contains a spirit from 1989, with no declaration of ageing (some say 15 years, others 14) and no details of the casks used.

Tasting notes

Amber in the glass.
I think that this whisky spent its time in the usual ex-Sherry casks: on the nose cherry in spirit, nutmeg, beeswax, salted butter, wood in the background. Very sober and elegant. With time, it softens, bringing out ripe fruit and a hint of vanilla.
On the palate, you feel the presence of wood, not unpleasant but a little intrusive, accompanied by hints of spice, orange peel, pineapple, unripe kiwi fruit and gianduia cream. A sweet palate mottled with bitter notes.
The finish is medium, of sugared almonds, spices, bitter orange and wood.

Not very balanced, I would almost say a ruffled Macallan, in which perhaps the barrels got a little out of hand. Peculiar and unusual, but not unforgettable.

Reviews of Macallan whisky in the blog:
Dramfool Malt Can Heal 1992
Macallan 18yo 1989
Macallan 12yo Double Cask
Macallan 15yo Triple Cask Matured
Macallan Amber
Macallan Edition N°5
Macallan Gold Double Oak

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